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Cent mille milliards de visages

Cent mille milliards de visages

(Code: A121900723)

Cent mille milliards de visages, composition by Victor PAGE, texts by Raymond Queneau, suite for a cappella choir with four mixed voices SATB, where the desire to compose vocal music meets the poetic work of Raymond Queneau.
As an energergergue to his collection Cent Mille Milliards de Poèmes, Raymond Queneau indicated that it would take "more than a million centuries of reading". Considering the richness of his entire poetic work, I would add: "... and a million more in musical composition.". Here then is a small window open on Raymond Queneau's "Cent mille milliards de visages".
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Cent mille milliards de visages, composition by Victor PAGE, texts by Raymond Queneau, suite for four mixed voices SATB a cappella choir :



Where the desire to compose vocal music meets poetic works by Raymond Queneau

"Passionate about voice and choir, since 2012 I have been nurturing the project of writing a vocal work with the dimensions of a small mass. But, since liturgical texts spoke little to me, I quickly sought a more attractive and inspiring literary engine. After some unsuccessful research with English poets, I discovered Raymond Queneau's prose via Exercices de Style and Contes et Propos, before falling entirely into his poetry, fascinated by the elegance of his writing. Here lightness and humor, qualities known and recognized in Queneau, often rub shoulders with great depth. To remake history with mischievousness (at a time when...), to contemplate nature with fantasy (lightning, seahorses) or melancholy (whelk), to plunge soberly into the human depths (from the desert, vain ambition, dry lamps), it is this diversity of tones and emotions that directed the composition of this suite.
As a neophyte queneausian, musical writing was not done with poetry already digested and taken for granted, but in curiosity and discovery. A doubly exciting process! Discovering words and their meaning at the same time as music is built around them. Sometimes even the meaning of a poem appeared to me after composing the music - as for claiming to have understood and explored all of these vast poems, I don't think about it."
"From the first poem set to music in 2012 to the last days of writing in 2017, it's five years in dotted line to compose, erase, erase, dive back into the collection, eliminate selected poems, select new ones. Five years to consider all the possible outcomes, to sculpt this project without knowing yet in what form it would be born.
Upon arrival, sixteen poems are gathered in a suite, crossed by various sources of inspiration, including in bulk Olivier Messiaen, Benjamin Britten, Béla Bartók, Arvo Pärt, Eric Whitacre, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Eric Bibb, Steven Wilson, Opeth, Tigran Hamasyan, Take 6, the Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, Eivind Aarset, Meshuggah, Trent Reznor or Scott Walker.
As a preface to his collection One Hundred Thousand Billion Billions of Poems, Raymond Queneau indicated that it would take "more than a million centuries of reading". Considering the richness of his entire poetic work, I would add: "... and a million more in musical composition.".

Here is a small window open on Raymond Queneau's "Cent mille milliards de visages" for for four mixed voices a cappella choir (SATB):



Total duration : approx. 30 minutes

Listening the work on the composer’s website : http://www.victorpage.fr/centmillemilliardsdevisages.html

Content :
  • Vaine ambition : 1’29’’
  • Lampes taries : 3’01’’
  • La foudre : 1’23’’
  • Les ziaux : 4’16’’
  • Les hippocampes : 1’12’’
  • Amour glacé : 2’39’’
  • Songe creux : 3’04’’
  • À l’heure où... : 2’38’’
  • La brèche : 0’25’’
  • Il pleut : 1’00’’
  • Buccin : 1’20’’
  • À partir du désert : 5’07’’

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